An era is ending in Washington. After 468 regular-season and 96 playoff starts, Braden Holtby is moving on.
It’s undeniably sad, even if it’s also undeniably the right time and the right move for both player and team.
Holtby leaves the Caps in second place in almost every cumulative goaltending category in franchise history, from wins to losses to minutes played and shots faced (he’s also first in Stanley Cups won).
The man he trails is, of course, Olie Kolzig, the face of the franchise for basically the entire “Screaming Eagle” jersey period, a human organizational bridge who laced ‘em up as a Cap with both Scott Stevens and Nicklas Backstrom and almost everyone in between.
Between Kolzig and then Holtby, the Caps have experienced remarkable stability in net for more than 20 years now. In fact, since the start of the 1997 season, 62% of Caps regular-season games and 77% of post-season matches have been started by one of the two (1,224 games). They’ve combined to win 636 games for Washington over that span, with Kolzig holding a 287-282 edge in the regular season and Holtby up 50-17 in the playoffs (and, y’know...). And as good as each man was on the ice, each was an even more valuable member of the community.
The Caps have been fortunate to find that kind of consistency and longevity in goal. But, of course, they’ve had other netminders pass through town during this time - 22 of them, to be precise... which got us wondering if we could name them all.
We could not.
But maybe you can! Thanks to our pal @LikeTheMaps on Twitter, here’s your chance to show us (or yourself, really) what you’ve got. You have ten minutes to name every Caps goalie since 1997 (@LikeTheMaps even spotted you games played and years to help). And no, Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t count... yet.
On your mark, get set...